Luther Jones

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This web page created in memory of Luther E. Jones II by his son Melvyn Trenton Jones in the Covid years of 2020 and 2021. 

"My beloved father was a wonderful, poetic, generous, kind, compassionate man who stood by my side through out my life and who has made me who I am today."  Melvyn Jones 

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Luther Edward Jones II born January 12, 1914 and passed away September 6, 1999.

When Luther Edward Jones was born on January 12, 1914, in Montgomery, Texas, his father, Luther, was 25 and his mother, Clara, was 25. He married Helen Grant on May 21, 1942, in Nueces, Texas. They had four children in 11 years. He died on September 6, 1999, in Corpus Christi Texas at the age of 85.

Luther Jones and wife Helen Grant Jones lived and raised their family in Corpus Christi.  They lived at 338 Laurel Drive a house that Helen brother Jack Grant had built and given to them as a wedding gift. 

Luther Jones was a Texas lawyer.  His law office was in the guest house of their home on Laurel Drive.

 

Luther Edward Jones, Jr., also known as L. E.  He attended Central High School in Houston, Texas, where he was on the debate team led by Lyndon B. Johnson. After graduation he attended the Rice Institute for two years before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1934 to work in the office of Congressman Richard Kleberg alongside Johnson. Jones attended Georgetown University School of Law for one year before moving back to Texas to attend the law school at the University of Texas in Austin, receiving his law degree in 1937. During his time in law school he worked under Johnson at the National Youth Administration (NYA), and also worked on Johnson’s 1937 congressional campaign. Jones served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946. Jones worked for the United States Department of Justice before moving to Corpus Christi, Texas to practice law.  https://www.discoverlbj.org/item/jonesl

Luther remained friends with Lyndon Johnson for his entire adult life. 

Upon his passing the Senate of the State of Texas created in his memory Senate Proclamation No. 396.  Click on the PDF to view tis proclamation.  

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President Johnson and Luther Jones at a White House gather telling old stories. 

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Debate Coach Lyndon B. Johnson with championship team: Luther Jones, Margaret Epley, Evelyn Lee, Gene Lattimer. Sam Houston High School, Houston, Texas, 1931.

PDF Oral History Transcripts Lyndon B. Johnson Library ... David McComb Interviews Luther E. Jones 1969

Interview #1

Interview #2

Luther E. Jones Jr., was the first assistant district attorney of Nueces County and was a U.S. commissioner. 

Most of this work as a lawyer was in Corpus Christi where he was a solo practitioner, specializing the criminal, oil and gas law.  

Luther moved to Corpus Christi in 1933. 

In 1938 Luther was law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler. Link 2  

 

In 1939 he became executive assistant to Undersecretary of Interior A.J. Wiritz.

A year later he joined the Justice Department as an attorney and moved back to Corpus Christi Texas to work on federal condemnation cases for land for the Naval Air Station. 

Luther Joined the Army in 1942 serving as a second lieutenant during World War II.  Luther tells the story that his unit had been called off to fight the German forces.  Being the only lawyer in his unit Jones was, at the last minute was away to represent a general with some legal issues.  As Luther told the story his entire unit was killed at The Battle of the Bulge.  

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Luther E. Jones II military year images

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Luther would comment that boot camp almost killed him, but he survived.  

Luther was discharged from the Army in 1946 and returned to Corpus Christi as a city attorney.  He went into private law practice in 1947.

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In 1965 Luther was honored by the Texas State Bar for his distinguished service. In 1968, he was named to the State Bar of Texas committee investigating the code of criminal procedures and several months later he was made the first assistant district attorney of Nueces County. 

In 1969 Luther was elected by the Nueces County Bar Association to be the special judge of the 105th District Court.  After his term there he resumed his duties as chief assistant to District Attorney William Mobley.  

Attorney Luther E. Jones and Attorney Percy Forman in trial 1964

Luther was described as the lawyers / lawyer or the "criminal lawyer’s criminal lawyer—the man flamboyant attorneys like Percy Foreman hire for the purpose of “preserving the record on appeal.” Keeps a close watch on minor procedural points while the big name lawyers perform theatrics for the jury and hammer away at witnesses. Jones prepares the objections, motions, and exceptions to unfavorable judicial rulings which can win even the most hopeless case if the prosecution slips."

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Texas Parade Article May 1968 

By Martha Bowmer

Texas Prominent Unknowns

And then there’s  Luther  Jones,  the lawyer’s lawyer. His home is Corpus Christi, but he can  be  found  more often   in  court  rooms   throughout   the state.  He won’t be  the obvious  lawyer in the room,  but he will  be one of  the most important. The obvious ones—the ones taking the starring roles—will be someone like Percy Foreman, the world’s most famous living criminal lawyer, or Warren Burnett, the young lawyer from Odessa, who has been grossing up to a million dollars a year for a number of years. Sitting at a table behind them quite frequently is a slim, happy, yet intense, youngish looking man. In a day when scholars wear horn-rimmed glasses, his are still rimless . .. but he’s a scholar nevertheless. He’s the one to whom these starring lawyers listen so intently before rising to make an objection. He is the man with probably the finest technical legal knowledge in  the  state. . . Luther E.  Jones. There  is   nothing pretentious   about Luther Jones. His stationery reads “Luther Jones—Lawyer,” not “Attorney-At-Law.” He has no legal secretary;  no downtown office; no long, impressive list of partners in  fact,  no partners  at all. His office is a reconverted and enlarged double garage behind his comfortable, not flashy, home   in  a  modest   section   of   Corpus Christi. He even does his own typing. And yet as a money earner, his probably in the top five percent of Texas lawyers; as a legal scholar he is second to none. Many colleagues consider him the finest appellate lawyer in the country, and his law library is probably the finest specialized  legal  library in the United  States. Though Jones has the personality to draw clients like a magnet draws steel— and the  mind   to  win  legal  case  upon legal case—he rarely takes a case of his own. Why?  He  can  make  more  money and have more fun by doing the behind­ the-scenes work for other lawyers and charging them fancy fees. His specialized work also leaves him free time for writing and lecturing. Yet  nobody   ever  heard   of   him well  not  quite  “nobody”..

Recently   an   acquaintance   of   Luther Jones was in a party visiting President Johnson’s old home and  family  museum at Johnson City. It was one of those not infrequent occasions when the Command­er-in-Chief himself dropped in and  be gan to act as a  museum  curator.  While the President was engaged in explaining something  else,   Luther   Jones’    friend  spotted  a  fading  picture  on  the  wall.  It was a snapshot of Lyndon Baines Johnson as a young man with four younger men— high  school  boys—around  him.  Involuntarily the visitor exclaimed, “Why that’s Luther Jones in that picture.” She clapped her  hands  over  her  mouth  when  she realized that the President had  overheard her and that the whole room was suddenly  over  silent.

It was  then  that  the  President  turned and said with enthusiasm, “Do you know Luther? How do you know Luther?” He then turned his attention to the visitor and  began  to  talk  about  Luther  Jones.

The  Picture  was  of  the  President  as  a debate  coach  with  his  first  debate  team.

Luther Jones was on the team. And later he was Johnson’s right hand man during the N.Y.A.  days. President Johnson had not forgotten Luther Jones . . . nor is anyone likely to forget him who has met him. 

As a fellow-lawyer explains it, “Luther Jones is the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever known.”

Because of his enthusiasm for life and for learning, Luther Jones’ quest of knowledge takes  him   into  many  fields, and he can converse expertly on  a variety of topics. This vast knowledge completely fooled one heart specialist. After Jones   finished  a  lengthy  conversation detailing  the  use  of  Vitamin  E  in  heart deficiencies and other diseases, the doctor cornered an acquaintance to ask, “What hospital is that doctor connected with? He’s quite brilliant, you know.”

Though other people—from the United States President to the heart specialist— are impressed with Luther Jones, he  is not in the  least  impressed  with  himself or his  accomplishments.  As  he  puts  it. “I am interested solely in what I can do now and tomorrow—not what I did yesterday—that  is gone,  long gone.”

And that is Luther Jones, the likeable, down-to-earth intellectual.

Luther E. Jones II life and family

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1940. Ex-Houtonian Is Spending Vacation From Government Post With is Parents 

Luther Jones returns to visit his family at 1612 House Avenue, Houston Texas.  

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Luther Jones II and his father Luther Jones I in front of the Jones Drug store at 1612 Houston Ave.  When Luther was in high school he worked at this drug store with is father and a deliver boy.  

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Corpus Christi caller time Obituary for 

Luther E. Jones II